On a pitch black, clear moonless night, the sky is filled with twinkling stars. The stars appear brightest when the night is darkest.
There can be occasions where a situation seems really bleak. Everything has gone wrong. You feel surrounded by darkness. Getting through these challenging times is a trying experience to say the least. It's not easy in these circumstances, but finding some bit of brightness, no matter how small, offers some comfort.
So when your situation looks the darkest, look for any glimmer of light. This isn't easy and certainly won't necessarily replace any negative emotions you are experiencing. But it is a better approach compared to remaining mired in misery. Look for anything good, no matter how small, to focus on.
Although you can't always control what events occur, you do have control over your response. This is the basis of a survival strategy. When in a hole, you have to begin climbing out, not digging it deeper. Speed is not the issue, your direction of travel is.
It's during tough times when you have to reach deep into your character for strength. You may not be able to make sense out of a situation. It might be unfair, but you must find a way to move forward.
Regressing never works in your favor. Wallowing in self-pity keeps you in a hole or makes it deeper. As difficult as it may seem, the direction you must travel is up. Look for the stars shining in the darkness.
When facing adversity, viewing issues from various perspectives offers different insights. Realizations can appear that were previously hidden. Small things you never paid attention to might now have more significance. Other issues you thought were really important could fade away as inconsequential.
You will learn things about yourself. You will discover strengths and abilities you had been unaware of. You will realize things about other people as well. Their true character will be revealed. True friends are those who are there for you in a time of need. They are shining stars in your dark night.
If taking things one day at a time is too overwhelming, break down time into smaller segments that are manageable. The size of the steps you take moving forward are not important, your forward motion is. Positive action is another star.
Don't project negative feelings out into the future. The way you feel today doesn't control how you will feel later. Draw upon happy memories and feelings.
You are unique. Your emotions are your own. As well-meaning as other people might be, no one can tell you how you should feel, what you should do, or how long it should take. The people with the most possible insight are those who have been through similar situations. You can learn from their experiences.
Take some time to understand your own emotions. Your feelings are what they are. Believing there is a right or wrong way to feel only adds to your stress level. Looking for bright spots does not mean you deny how you feel.
Here are some questions to ask yourself: "What paths are available to me?" "Are there any new opportunities appearing?" "What can I learn?" "What should be my next step?" "How am I feeling?" "Why am I feeling the way I am?"
Keep your mind open to finding the stars. Don't waste any time making excuses for why you can't. All that matters is why you can. It is during these dark times that it's imperative for you to find as many bright spots as possible. Doing so will make a positive difference.
NOW AVAILABLE: "Dare to Live Without Limits," the book. Visit www.BryanGolden.com or your bookstore. Bryan is a management consultant, motivational speaker, author, and adjunct professor. E-mail Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or write him c/o this paper. 2014 Bryan Golden